2018, What a year!

“The diversity of talks at TEDxGlasgow gave me a more visceral experience than reading a great book, I’ve left thinking differently and filled with new ideas to change the world”

2018 TEDxGlasgow Attendee


Our curator and founder Gurjit Singh Lalli shares his 2018 reflections, insights on the journey of TEDxGlasgow so far and thoughts on what to expect in 2019.

What outstanding feedback to get!

Reminds me why TEDxGlasgow was launched; I’ve always thought Scotland needs more platforms for showcasing amazing ideas from inspiring people.  In Scotland, we have some very talented people, and I’ve encountered many businesses who embody a strong, can-do, philanthropic spirit. In recent years it has been great to see more entrepreneurs focus on not just making a profit but also care about making a social impact.  An approach that I am personally passionate about and is a core part of our TEDxGlasgow mission.

I’m fascinated by the process of making something from nothing.  Bringing people together, seeing communication between individuals that wouldn’t normally encounter each other.  Talking about work, lives, what drives us, to then walk away from these moments feeling inspired to act, taking away something that you can transform into something else is unique. A blessing to observe when curating TEDxGlasgow; I’ve seen ideas and people alike transform and it’s epic!

Our events have included truly amazing people like Craig Clarke, who showed us how Scotland has led the way in a new form of satellites, opening up insightful data.  Rachel Woods blew us away with her talk that asked us to rethink autism and ability, evidenced through herself as Scotland’s youth ambassador for Year of Young People.  We’ve also had Amos Miller who spoke about using technology to support the visually impaired, inspiring tech for good! I see these as exactly the ideas Scotland deserves to showcase, although there are many more I could mention!


Teamwork makes the Ideas work

Events that connect people, spark innovation, build communities, accelerate change – that’s what the core leadership team at TEDxGlasgow focus on.  Working with such a unique platform as TEDx, my team and I endeavour to push boundaries as we identify speakers and innovation to showcase. Our collective responsibility is to bring every challenging idea we conceive to fruition – this does not always come with ease.

Over the years we’ve worked hard, demanding perfection, thinking in unconventional ways, and insisting the inconceivable be accomplished. For example, I’ve gone into a TEDx meeting with an idea prepared, only for the team to ask a question that made me realise I was looking at the problem completely wrong, and together we revived it. As colleagues we persist, and innovation occurs at a speed hardly anyone thought possible.

Six years of events, this driven team spirit I speak of has built a strong community and dedicated set of volunteers, who together have generated over 13.2 million talk views from our 122 speakers.  But as ideas evolve and grow, so must our team – it has been a pleasure to work with Iain Delworth and Cat Leaver who have now moved on to exciting new opportunities. Their enthusiasm has been an inspiration in its own, we wish them every success in the future.  Knowing how TEDxGlasgow gets under your skin and stays with you, I am sure Iain and Cat will remain in touch and continue to be amazing ambassadors for what we’re doing.


2019: Go ahead and make an impact

I’ve been humbled to see the people of Glasgow and Scotland embrace our events, so much that we’ve been able to grow and host two events in 2018; Supporting Year of Young People with the theme of openmind at [email protected] and TEDxGlasgow itself with the theme of rethink. Quite a difference from the first event in 2012 when we had 12 speakers to an audience of 100 people.  Hosting 4,200 attendee’s and 20 speakers in one year over two events has been a rollercoaster ride, yet amazing!

Another exciting outcome: I’ve heard directly from individuals and organisations about their TEDxGlasgow experience from our impact report. As a team we’ve learned that our events have been impactful in a variety of ways:

  •         catalysing actions taken by individuals from our network;
  •         amplifying a positive difference to our society;
  •         activating ideas across industry.

Hearing these case stories is exactly the fuel needed to examine how the TEDxGlasgow platform can keep driving positive change, and formulate social initiatives in conjunction with our partners, who play an important part in our annual events, salons and ideas we showcase.

We’ve taken feedback on-board from our ongoing research and my team have a plethora of fresh ideas. Moving into 2019 we strive to attract more disruptors, instigators, agitators and thought leaders from across all walks of life.  Over the next 3 years I hope to increase our depth of engagement and scope how we share our ideas with our attendees and partners to scale the positive impact we’re making.


People really do Make Glasgow

The hard work doesn’t stop, but having high-spirited and skilled individuals who want to volunteer and support our mission is where the magic happens.

Our partners and attendees help make the day such an electric experience and the best part is seeing everyone returning year on year to connect with ideas worth doing. The people of Scotland really are fantastic, TEDxGlasgow wouldn’t be here making a difference without you.

Keep an eye on our social channels for updates in the next few months about what comes next. I look forward to seeing you at TEDxGlasgow 2019! Have a wonderful festive break.


  • Written by Zeb Ahmed
  • Posted on December, 18 2018

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